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4 tips on how to improve communication at work

How often do feel like your colleagues don’t quite understand what you want to say or write? Maybe your body language is misunderstood by others or your intonation upsets your co-workers. Dubai is a wonderful place to work with many opportunities across all sectors.

No one wants to admit they lack communication skills; however, poor communication at work can result in missed deadlines, low productivity, and poor morale. Unnecessary arguments and misunderstandings can create quarrels and tension in the workplace. Teaching people how to communicate effectively enables employees to listen, speak, write and present well.

 

Here are 4 tips on how to improve communication at work

 

1. Create Self-Awareness

A great way to improve communication is by getting your employees to complete self-assessments as it enables them to see their behaviour more clearly than they might have previously. Self Assessments will ask questions about how they communicate with colleagues and help them  identify their weaknesses and strengths. Once an employee has identified his or her weaknesses they can then focus on trying to improve on those weaknesses one at a time. To make these self-assessments successful, the HR or L&D department need to make them compulsory so that each and every member of the team participates and tries to improve.

This is an example of a short self-assessments,  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newCS_99.htm.

2. Effective Communication Skills

We all write and speak to each other at work! These forms of communication are the basis of all communication. Written and spoken communication sent from one person to another must be clear, concise and concrete. It must also be correct and coherent. If we send an email with grammar mistakes this can create confusion as to what the message is about. If we have spelling mistakes this looks unprofessional. We also need to understand other people’s perspectives and cultures, especially in Dubai where so many different cultures cross paths on a daily basis. Accepting how certain cultural backgrounds might perceive or process information can strengthen communication.

Written and oral communication skills can be improved with language training whereas understanding and dealing with different cultures fit into soft skills training. Both types of training are vitally important in terms of improving a company’s communication. Speak Institute offers both types of training and will give you advice if you need any guidance.

 

3. Practice Exercises

An efficient way to improve your staff’s communication is by organising practice activities to help improve on specific points. These activities allow employees to role-play specific scenarios they may encounter on a daily basis at work and helps them identify their weaknesses and improve their areas where skills are lacking. It helps them think in a different way and look at situations from a different angle. Giving them the opportunity to be creative and analyse situations is a great way for them to feel more confident and focus on their weaknesses. Giving employees the motivation to improve is essential! Creating a firmly bonded team by organising such activities is a great step towards improving general communication within the office. Some great activities are those that demonstrate that misunderstandings occur on a regular basis and we may not even realise they are occurring.

Here a short article with some sample activities: http://smallbusiness.chron.com/communication-exercises-team-building-839.html 

4. Business Etiquette

How often have you seen a salesperson from a bank in Dubai send you a Whatsapp message with a picture of a contract? I never thought I would have to deal with that but recently I have and it wasn’t the first time. It definitely gave me a very bad impression of the bank, especially as I had to type the document myself from an image on my phone. Why not just send me an email with a PDF or Word document? Educating employees on current business etiquette helps ensure that everyone knows what’s acceptable and what isn’t. It is so important that all employees understand that! They need to understand what they can and cannot say on all types of platforms such as blogs, text messaging online forums or online chats. Even outside of work they must realise the impact their behaviour can have. Business Etiquettes goes further than that, it is how you present yourself to others and the image you give off of yourself, and therefore your company. Improving your employees’ Business Etiquette is one part of improving their communication skills and is an important one which should not be ignored.